Release date: May 1, 2018
Vanity Fair calls it one of the most anticipated books of the summer. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Scandal’s Kerry Washington.
An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedly connected when one of their newborns goes missing.
They call themselves the May Mothers—a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. Twice a week, with strollers in tow, they get together in Prospect Park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood; sharing the fears, joys, and anxieties of their new child-centered lives.
When the group’s members agree to meet for drinks at a hip local bar, they have in mind a casual evening of fun, a brief break from their daily routine. But on this sultry Fourth of July night during the hottest summer in Brooklyn’s history, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is abducted from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but the May Mothers insisted that everything would be fine. Now Midas is missing, the police are asking disturbing questions, and Winnie’s very private life has become fodder for a ravenous media.
Though none of the other members in the group are close to the reserved Winnie, three of them will go to increasingly risky lengths to help her find her son. And as the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days that follow, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured.
There’s several very compelling reasons why The Perfect Mother is one of the most talked about books of the season, but the main reason (to me at least) is that is lives up to the hype! There is nothing more satisfying as an avid reader than picking up a buzz worthy book and having it meet all of your expectations, in fact it even exceeded them.
Nothing bonds new mothers quicker than their pregnancies, and then newborn babies, especially if you narrow them down to women all due in the same birth month. There’s a sense of kinship and understanding between them that constructs this weird little bubble of isolation and acceptance that feels both like a safe place and one where you’re harshly judged. I actually never joined a mommy group that met up in real life but I was in a few online groups and while they can be extremely fun as informative, they can also be super catty and mean. That’s the type of atmosphere the May Mother’s are in, although they take their friendships offline and meet up in real life, they still don’t really know very much about each other and their common ground is their children, they’re virtual strangers.
Molloy explored many issues that new parents, and especially mothers, face in a very relevant way. There is an immense amount of pressure for new moms, and it comes from every direction, social media, the internet in general, friends, family and even strangers. I swear, some strangers have no problem making snarky comments about the way you’re handling your baby, it’s insane but it really does happen, the pressure is overwhelming.
This is told from several viewpoints and I could wholeheartedly relate to many of the thoughts and feelings of these women, Molloy was spot on in terms of relatable characters. The juxtaposition of emotional, hormonal, brand new moms that are full of self doubt and/or insecurity AND an incredibly terrifying situation where one of their tiny little babies vanishes was beyond intense and engrossing, I seriously could not put this one down until I knew what happened to baby Midas and I was guessing and then second guessing throughout the entire book. I never did see where things were headed, I was pretty shocked when things came to a head and I was left impressed and awed.
Make sure this one is on your summer reading list, I predict it’s gonna fly off the shelves, it has all the magic ingredients that make up that perfect summer read. I’ll be impatiently waiting for the movie to be released as well as waiting to see what the author comes up with next!
The Perfect Mother in three words: Devious, Misleading and Clever.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.